Transforming Concrete Jungles into Urban Orchards


They call themselves the largest veggie-powered caravan in the world, and they're traversing California teaching school kids that the city is alive. This summer marks the third year of Common Vision's annual Fruit Tree Tour, which has traveled from San Diego to Sacramento planting over 1,500 fruit trees with the students of inner-city schools. Through a fusion of arts, culture, and ecology, the non-profit aims at awakening youth not only to ecology, but to its cultural and communal roots. From planting heirloom varieties of corn from indigenous Mexican farmers, to playing West African agricultural rhythms, to contemporary hip hop media, Common Vision strives to make ecological awareness relevant and inspirational.Because the "urban food forests" they are planting on school grounds are not only beautifying, but edible, Common Vision is trying to help tackle the unnerving statistic that only 11% of California's school children are eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Common Vision founder Blair Phillips says, "Fruit Tree Tour is a fusion of arts, culture, and ecology that rekindles relationships with the earth and empowers proactive change. The planting of fruit trees with urban youth embodies the vital connection between our health and the health of the planet. As school-yard landscapes grow and thrive, so do the communities that unite to plant orchards amidst the asphalt and chain-link fences." :: Common Vision